Beakers and torches aren’t the only pieces of lab equipment that should be chosen carefully. One of the most important areas in any laboratory is the counter top surface where the work is performed. These lab counter tops are likely to suffer spills, splashes, burns, and large amounts of pressure at times. It’s important that you choose a material that can handle it all. Here are three important facts to consider when choosing a material for your counter tops.
1. Every Material Has a Specific Heat Resistance
It’s not uncommon to encounter high-temperature flames in a laboratory environment. Therefore, choosing lab counter tops that are capable of withstanding the heat is very important. Each material that you consider will be capable of standing up to some degree of continuous heat exposure.
For example, phenolic resin countertops can withstand continuous exposure to temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, which cannot be said for the vast majority of surfaces in your lab. Putting this into perspective, a 350 degree Fahrenheit surface on your counter top would be enough to make water droplets sizzle immediately on contact, and even this heat serves no threat to a phenolic resin surface. Know what sort of temperatures will occur in your lab and choose a material with an acceptable heat resistance.
2. Some Materials Are Easier to Sterilize
While sterility isn’t a huge concern for all labs, it’s a primary concern for some others, such as medical laboratories. It relates to the materials ability to be sterilized and remain sterile. Stainless steel is durable and resistant to heat and water. Unfortunately, the steel can corrode if exposed to certain materials.
3. Durability Is Always a Top Priority
The durability of your lab counter tops is an important fact to consider no matter what your lab is used for. A low durability material is more likely to suffer damage and require replacing in the near future. You’ll need to consider the overall durability of the material as well as its resistance to specific elements.
The subject of heat resistance has already been addressed, but there are other hazards that can damage your lab counter tops as well. Some examples are mold, fungus, moisture, bacteria, and chemicals. If you know that you’ll be dealing with any of these specific hazards in your lab, then you’ll need a counter top that is highly resistant to that specific threat.
The Perfect Material
You have quite a few countertop options, and it’s difficult to say any single option is the “best” material. Two materials that you should consider are epoxy resin and phenolic resin. Each of these materials has its own unique advantage that stands out from the others. View our online catalog of counter top materials to learn more about these and other possible solutions.